Hiring Employees: Five Qualities to Look For


Hiring employees is expensive. First, you have to pay for recruiting or advertising services to help you find potential employees. Then, you’ll be spending time sifting through applications and conducting interviews. When you finally find someone whom you think will be a great fit, onboarding and training them takes time and resources, and it’s a process that can take weeks or even months before you have an employee who is able to work effectively on their own.

Going through this process is disheartening, especially when you realize the candidate you’ve selected may not be as great of a fit as their application made it seem. Before you go through the hassle, here are a few things to look for in potential employees prior to making a hiring decision.


Education is a simple way to reject resumes, and requiring a certain foundation degree level may help narrow down the list of potential candidates. However, keep in mind that not all education is formal or comes with a piece of paper. What has the candidate learned on his own in previous jobs? Has he taken the initiative to learn new skills that he might need for past positions? A candidate who loves to learn has a potential for growth beyond the current position you need to fill and could be a great long-term fit for your company.


While this can be hard to gauge, take a look at their resume and try to assess consistency. Have they had several jobs recently? Have they stuck with anything long term, whether it’s a job, education, or some other endeavor? A candidate with a history of inconsistency will probably not change his or her ways once you’ve hired them, so try to weed them out ahead of time.


Does your candidate have a “can-do” attitude? Innovating, doing the things that must be done, and finding ways to power through tasks when it seems impossible are all wonderful qualities in employees. Look for candidates who accept responsibility for their actions and have this quality.


Things in business don’t always go to plan. Candidates who can roll with the punches and jump in to help out where they are needed (without complaining!) are worth their weight in gold when things go wrong.


Is your candidate self-motivated? Will they work hard, and then look for more work to do? Or will they simply do the minimum that needs to be done and hope you don’t notice when they are not working on the clock? A driven individual will work hard and go above and beyond the call of duty.

Hiring employees is expensive, so taking the time to find a great candidate is important. While some candidates look great on paper, don’t let that keep you from looking closely at the rest of their qualifications and the intangible parts of their personality. As you gain experience hiring employees, these qualities will be easier to spot, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time.


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